2021 was a seminal year for the Interplay Incubator (IX). Leaning into the success of our early incubation ventures, we made the decision to double down on IX by bringing on a partner dedicated exclusively to the program. This new level of commitment has allowed us to provide more value to more companies than ever before.
With newfound capacity we were able to increase the breadth of the program without compromising on our commitment to providing each portfolio company with a completely bespoke experience. While IX scaled notably in 2021 (we are now welcoming a new portfolio company every 2 to 3 weeks) the demand has scaled even faster. This year we had an acceptance rate of just 2.6% (lower than Harvard!). Our investment committee has had the unenviable task of turning away a number of truly great companies in the name of preserving the shoulder-to-shoulder, one-on-one nature of our program.
Here are a few other stats from this past year:
- 62% of companies raised capital before the program
- 50% of companies have female founders
- 100+ hours of partner time per company in the program
- 50% of companies perfected their fundraising pitches through the program
- 50% of companies secured their development agencies through the program
- 38% of companies launched their product during the program
2021 also saw the creation of IX’s new perks program. We’ve gathered an amazing set of industry leaders like Amazon, Google, Twilio, Hub Spot etc. to provide each IX portfolio company with a collection of service credits and discounts totalling over $250k. We know that in a startup’s earliest days every dollar is precious and these credits should allow our portfolio to reroute dollars away from commoditized infrastructure and operations expenses into their core value proposition.
With increased capacity, an expanded value proposition, and unprecedented demand, it’s no wonder that the 2021 IX portfolio is quite possibly the best we’ve ever had. From touring the cosmos to touring the vatican; from preparing for college or preparing a home cooked meal; this group has you covered!
On a personal note, I want to extend a sincere thank you to all the companies (read founders) that I have had the pleasure to work with in 2021. I have been inspired by your visions for a better tomorrow and awed by your drive and dedication to make those visions a reality. The road of the founder is often circuitous and always bumpy and I am honored that you have let me join you on your journey, if only for a few early steps. I look forward to watching you all continue to grow, thrive, endure and succeed in 2022 and beyond.
- Alqami closes the knowledge gap for data vendors wanting to productize and externally monetize their data with modern investors seeking data signals to help facilitate their trade decisions.
- Hadley helps Americans find the 529 savings plan that is best suited to help them save for their (or their family’s) education.
- Kithward will help guide you to an independent living community that’s right for you.
- Manna on a mission to change the way people discover, cook and shop for food through technology rooted in community.
- Through extensive research, the Oh! Project has identified common challenges that befall incoming college freshmen and built a curriculum to better prepare students for independent living.
- Seekerpitch is modernizing (read: humanizing) the recruiting process with a fresh new take on resumes and interviews. Never send your resume into a black hole again. Get the facetime you deserve.
- SmallSpark Space Systems is developing the next generation of technologies that will enable easier, lower-cost access to space.
- StreamTeam enhances live experiences with real-time audio delivered directly to attendees' phones during tours, classes and events.